Shinde’s ‘no’ triggers uproar in Assembly

PDP Presses For Resolution; Speaker Adjourns Proceedings After Ruckus

Return Of Afzal’s Mortal Remains

MUDDASIR ALI

Jammu, Mar 12: Pandemonium broke out in the Legislative Assembly (LA) which was adjourned thrice on Tuesday following protests by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) against Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde’s statement that mortal remains of Muhammad Afzal Guru won’t be returned to his family.
PDP legislators and independent MLA Er Rashid stormed into the well repeatedly demanding that the House should unanimously pass a resolution seeking return of Afzal’s mortal remains.
Some PDP legislators even jumped on to the reporters table in the well forcing the staff there to rush for safety while Er Rashid threw mikes and exchanged verbal duel with BJP and NPP members.
PDP legislators were countered on their demand by BJP and NPP MLAs even as the government said it has already made the demand with government of India for return of Afzal’s body.
Amid commotion and ugly scenes, Speaker, Mubarak Gul adjourned the proceedings for the entire day in the late afternoon. On Monday Shinde had ruled out handing over mortal remains of Afzal to his family. Afzal was hanged on February 9 in Tihar Jail in New Delhi and buried there.
Soon after the House met today, PDP members stormed into the well demanding that the House should pass a resolution seeking return of Afzal’s mortal remains.
“The Home Minister has shown disrespect to the Parliament and the state assembly by issuing such a statement,” PDP members said as they stood up shouting that the House should pass the resolution.
“Government of India should decide whether they want to allow Kashmiris to live,” said PDP member Nizam-ud-Din Bhat. He was supported by other party legislators.
At this point the Speaker intervened stating that the issue was “humanitarian” but the state government should not be forced to take any step in hurry.
But PDP members, raising slogans “No discussion, only resolution” stormed into the well forcing the Speaker to adjourn the proceedings.
When the House met again at 10:39 am, PDP legislators continued with their demand.
“We demand that the body of the Shaheed Guru Sahab should be returned,” said PDP legislator Moulvi Iftikhar Hussain Ansari.
He was seconded by his party colleague Javed Mustafa Mir. “People of Kashmir have been suppressed and they are living in fear. The entire Srinagar city has been turned into a cage,” Mir said.
Continuing the sloganeering the PDP legislator and Er Rashid stormed into the well again.
Amid noisy scenes, BJP and NPP members stood up to counter the PDP over their demand and they too jumped into the well.
Seeing total commotion the speaker intervened saying a resolution was already lying with him on the issue. “Let me see it first,” he said.
But this did not pacify PDP legislators compelling the Speaker to adjourn the house for the second time at around 11.00 am.
When the House met again at 11:30 am, the Law Minister Mir Saifullah said the state government was “trying best” to see that the mortal remains of Afzal Guru “Sahab” were returned.
“When government of India can offer Pakistan to take possession of Ajmal Kasab’s body why can’t they hand over the body of Afzal to his family,” said Saifullah.
However, the use of the suffix Sahab with Afzal’s name infuriated the BJP and NPP members who stood up raising pro-India slogans.
It was followed by the PDP members and Er Rashid storming the well again amid slogans “We want resolution”.
The situation turned ugly when members from PDP, BJP and NPP stood on the chairs and some of them jumped into the well and climbed on the reporters table on the floor of the House to counter each other.
The commotion did not stop there. Er Rashid threw mikes but was stopped by the marshals from throwing chairs and tables.
The Speaker was seen surrounded by the marshals who were protecting him from the reach of the angry legislators.
Amid the ruckus the Speaker again adjourned the proceeding at 11:39 am till 3 pm.
When the House met again the Speaker, pointing towards the PDP legislators said, you raised an issue and it was responded to by the Law Minister.
“I request you to allow the House to function. Government has already made its stand clear, what else do you want,” the Speaker said.
However, PDP legislators again stormed into the well demanding that the House should pass the resolution on return of Guru’s mortal remains.
There were scenes of some PDP members including Basharat Bukhari showing fists to the marshals and others exchanging verbal duel with BJP and NPP members.
Amid ruckus the Speaker adjourned the proceedings for the entire day.

THEY TREAT ME LIKE AN ANIMAL: ER RASHID
Independent MLA Eng Rashid was Tuesday dragged out by marshals from the Legislative Assembly when he was demanding that mortal remains of Muhammad Afzal Guru should be returned to his family.
The incident took place in the later afternoon during the proceeding of the House when Congress member Sham Lal Sharma objected to usage of prefix “Shaheed” (martyr) and suffix “Sahab” with Afzal’s name by some legislators from opposition PDP.
“Those terming him Shaheed and Sahab should realize that they have taken an oath under the constitution and should respect the House. If they want to continue with the usage of such words then they should resign first,” Sharma said.
However he was interrupted by Er Rashid who criticized “double standards” of the state government on the issue of return of Afzal’s mortal remains.
Sharma responded. “He (Er Rashid) is always seen in the well. He should be thrown out of the House,” Sharma said.
Amid accusation and counter accusation between the two members a group of marshals appeared on the scene and dragged Rashid out of the House. While being pushed out Rashid collided with the door of the House and almost fell down.
The “irresponsible behavior” of the marshals was strongly objected to by some PDP members.
“What was his sin? He was only demanding that body of Afzal Guru should be returned,” said PDP legislator Moulvi Iftikhar Ansari.
Pointing towards the treasury bench, he said: “Today they have beaten him (Rashid) tomorrow they can beat your minister,” Ansari said.
Speaking to media persons outside, Rashid said he was dragged out from the House “like an animal”.
“If they can do so with an elected member whom they call honorable, it is enough for us to judge how they will be dealing with those (in Kashmir) whom they call protestors and stone pelters,” Rashid said.

Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Tue, 12 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Wed, 13 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST




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